Saturday, October 10, 2015

How to Make Wild Game a Part of Your Family's Diet

Saturday in the hizzy. Non-meat eaters, this post is not for you. I'll see you back here Monday! Today Jessie Hughes is back with some words on something that's been on my mind lately since we ate our share of wild game on our wild west trip. I also have a love of wild turkey since my uncle has caught some wild turkey for our Thanksgiving table, and I enjoy venison and especially venison jerky as well. 

It's always fun to take your palette on an adventure when you're at a restaurant that features wild game, but few of us are bold enough to take the plunge in our own kitchens. But if you hunt or have a hunter in the family, you know that you don't need a Michelin star to work wild game into your weekly meal plan and that experimenting with a new type of meat can be the perfect solution to the age old question "chicken...again?" The good news is that even if you don't have an expert marksman providing you with fresh caught meat, you can hunt down wild game from friends with excess (a sizable deer can yield over 50 pounds of meat), through specialty markets, or even buy it online. Here are a few tips and ideas on how you can stop thinking of wild game as a rare treat and start incorporating it into your family's diet.
Jerky: the Perfect Protein Punch
Making your own jerky is one of the easiest ways to begin experimenting with a range of game meats. All you need is any type of game (venison, elk, buffalo, duck, alligator, etc.), seasoning and a dehydrator and you are on your way to making a fantastic healthy snack. First, prep the meat by cutting back any excess fat. This is an important step because fat will not cure and can make you sick. Next, cut the meat into thin strips. You'll make that job much easier if you freeze the meat for a few hours before slicing. Finally, after marinating the strips in a resealable bag for three to six hours using your favorite flavor combination, simply place the meat in your dehydrator and walk away. When you come back, you'll have a protein-filled snack.
Ground Game: Spicing up Your Old Recipes
Ground meat is another way that beginners can include wild game into their repertoire with confidence. If you're not up for grinding your own meat, take it to your local butcher and have him do it for you. Ground game can generally be used in place of ground beef in any recipe. Instead of your traditional chili, try using ground moose or venison. Spice up your burger night using bison or elk instead of beef. The main thing to consider when replacing ground beef with wild game is the game meat will generally contain less fat, but with the right techniques it's easy to avoid dry or chewy meat. For example, when grilling ground game, reduce the cooking time, because the leaner meat will generally cook faster. Also, you can add additional fat, such as bacon, or use a mixture of game and beef to keep your ground meat moist.
Wild Birds: Nothing Fowl About It
If you are already cooking meals using chicken or domestic turkey, although there is a difference in flavor, the preparation of wild birds like turkey, pheasant and quail will feel familiar. In general, like most wild game, wild birds are leaner animals and their meat has a stronger, or "gamier," flavor. For a quick meal that is sure to please everyone in the family, make sliders using quail breast. For something more formal, roasting a whole wild turkey makes for an impressive, yet not labor intensive, dinner.
Are you into the wild game?

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  1. I just read this as how to make A wild game out of your family a part of your family's diet. JMJ and LOL! #criticalreading. Eating wild game is not in my mind set, but to each his own! Once at a restaurant, our waiter was
    reciting the specials and he said rabbit, and I said "as in bunny?!"
    Just reading this on Sunday- have a beautiful day!
    Love, Steph's Momma

  2. I love this! My husband (and our dog millie) catch birds and we eat them. i think it totally makes sense if you eat what you shoot.


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